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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

2 Peter 1

Verses 1-11

2 Peter 1:1-11 . The author writes to those who possess a faith not less honourable (“ precious” ) than that of the apostles themselves, since they, too, possess all things pertaining to life and godliness. But effort on their part is necessary if they would make their calling sure. The lack of such effort involves stumbling and implies forgetfulness of their baptismal cleansing— possibly, forgetfulness that the special cleansing of baptism cannot be repeated (Bigg). The Gospel is not a cloke for libertinism.

2 Peter 1:3 . him that called us: i.e. Christ: the reference is to the call of the apostolate. In this section “ we” and “ us” refer to the apostles, “ you” to those who have received the apostolic message.

Verses 12-15

2 Peter 1:12-15 . So long as he lives, it is his duty as an apostle to impress these truths upon them, especially since he anticipates a sudden death. ( 2 Peter 1:14 . swiftly: render “ suddenly”— the reference is to the prediction in John 21 that Peter should die a violent death.) But he will make provision for them, so that after his death they may be reminded of these truths. The reference is probably to the Gospel of Mark, which is traditionally connected with Peter. Some, however, suppose that the reference is to the Apocalypse of Peter, either as implying its existence or suggesting its composition. Spitta, who maintains the priority of 2 P., suggests that Jude was written to fulfil this promise.

2 Peter 1:16-21 . In support of his teaching, he appeals to a twofold witness: ( 1 ) His apostolic relation to Jesus. In speaking of the power of Jesus, as manifested in His earthly ministry, he was not following cunningly-devised fables, as the false teachers asserted (treating the Gospel records, perhaps, as allegory and not history), but was speaking of that which he had seen and heard— for he had been present at the Transfiguration and had heard the voice from heaven. ( 2 ) OT prophecy— an even more sure witness, which provides them with a lamp in the darkness of this world until the Second Coming of Jesus. But they must remember that if they are to interpret prophecy aright, they need a guide. Prophecy did not come by the will of man but from God, and therefore it cannot be interpreted by man’ s unaided power.

2 Peter 1:16 . and coming of our Lord: His coming in the flesh; but the reference may be to the Parousia.

2 Peter 1:19 . Render, “ even more sure is the word of prophecy which we have” ; the meaning is not, as in RV, that the Transfiguration proves the truth of OT prophecy, but that in the OT there is a second witness to the author’ s teaching against libertinism. For this purpose the voice of Heb. prophecy, with its stern insistence on righteousness, is more certain than the voice of the Transfiguration.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Peter 1". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.